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Market Cap £224.3m
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Revenue £170.9m
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Eurohold hopes to acquire CEZ's Bulgarian assets by year-end

Wed 9th October, 2019 11:45am
SOFIA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's Eurohold  4EH.BB  hopes
to get all necessary approvals and close a 335 million euro
($368 million) deal to buy the Bulgarian assets of Czech utility
CEZ  CEZP.PR  by the end of the year, its chairman said on
    Eurohold, active in insurance and asset management, agreed 
in June to acquire the assets, which include a power distributor
that provides electricity to more than 2 million Bulgarians -
making the deal politically sensitive.    
   The deal is pending approvals from the Balkan country's
anti-monopoly commission, which started to look into the
proposal last week, and its energy regulator. 
    "We expect the anti-monopoly regulator to approve the deal
in the next 25 days. There are no whatsoever concentration
concerns. The funds for the deal are also secured," said Assen
Christov, chairman of Eurohold's supervisory board.
    The company plans to fund the deal with a combination of
equity and debt by two global banks. It has declined to name
them but sources familiar with the process said Deutsche Bank
and Nomura will arrange the financing.
    The announcement of the deal prompted ratings agency Fitch
to place Eurohold's long-term issuer default B rating on
negative watch due to an expected high proportion of debt as
well as integration and execution risks.     
    On Wednesday, Eurohold said it has hired energy experts to
ensure the smooth acquisition and management of the power
distributor and said it plans to invest 270 million levs
($151.67 million) in it next year.
    Eurohold's debts stood at 174 million euros in the first
half of the year and its total assets were 747 million euros,
consolidated company data showed. Its revenues rose 30% on the
year to 400 million euros for the period.
    In April, Bulgaria's financial regulator launched checks
into Eurohold's financial situation, pointing out that power
distributors are part of critical infrastructure linked to
national security. But it has not yet issued a conclusion. 
    Last week, CEZ said that if the deal with Eurohold fails to
get the necessary approvals it would not make another attempt to
sell its Bulgarian assets.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N26P3A0
 ($1 = 0.9103 euros)

 (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Kim Coghill)
 ((tsvetelia.tsolova@thomsonreuters.com; +359-2-93-99-731;))
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